Johnson on Martinsville pole

What a difference a week makes. After a disastrous weekend at Bristol, Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Hendrick Chevrolet team earned their first pole of the season at Martinsville Speedway. Johnson's lap of 96.736 mph garnered him his ninth career...

What a difference a week makes. After a disastrous weekend at Bristol, Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Hendrick Chevrolet team earned their first pole of the season at Martinsville Speedway. Johnson's lap of 96.736 mph garnered him his ninth career top starting spot.

"It's great," said Johnson. "A great effort for us. Last week we didn't have the best start to the race and things went downhill from there, to be able to come back and have a great qualifying effort means a lot to this race team.

Jamie McMurray earned his best start of the season, with a lap of 96.696 mph. The No. 26 Roush Ford will start on the outside pole.

"It seemed kind of cloudy most of the day and it's fairly cool outside," described McMurray. "The fact the corners are concrete, I don't think it's as big a deal as normal. At some race tracks it's a big deal, but our race car has been good from the time we unloaded."

Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne completed the top five.

"I struggled here in '04, and last year we had two great races," Kahne commented. "It's a tough track, one of the toughest. Sears Point and here, I think, are the two places I struggle with the most. They don't seem to have much in common, but to me, they're the hardest tracks to figure out."

Forty-nine cars attempted to qualify for the forty-three car field. Failing to make the race were Derrike Cope, Kevin Lepage, Kenny Wallace, Jimmy Spencer, Morgan Shepard and Hermie Sadler.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Derrike Cope , Tony Stewart , Kenny Wallace , Kevin Lepage , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Hermie Sadler , Kasey Kahne